Scottish Winter Mountain Courses

Winter hillwalking, mountaineering and climbing in Scotland, and in particular on Ben Nevis, is world famous. We offer courses for everyone, whether you are just starting out or have years of experience under your belt.

Scotland is renown for its challenging conditions, which we are grateful for as they are essential to build up the ice and rime which makes winter climbing here so unique. Winter mountaineering, ice climbing and hillwalking activities are invariably affected by the weather and the current snow and ice conditions. To enjoy this challenging environment it is just as important to develop your skills and understand the hazards as it is to experience your dream route or develop your climbing technique.

All of our guides and instructors that work on our Scottish winter courses have excellent local knowledge accumulated over many years of personal winter walking and climbing. They are able to ensure that the most is made of every day in the mountains meaning anyone attending with us will gain useful insights on how to plan your day and get the best out of it, even during the most challenging weather.


Customer Reviews

  • 5 star rating Just what I was after The weather didn't look promising but thanks to Jamie's local knowledge, expertise and judgement we cracked two quality IVs on the Minus face - despite howling gales and snow high up and rain all the way down from the CIC hut. Add to that some intelligent conversation and general happy blether and it was exactly the day I was after. Thanks Jamie and thanks West Coast Mountain Guides.

    stevebK6037NY 31 Mar 2020

    5 star rating Private Guiding with Ian Fowler Top notch service. Excellent and tailor made winter guiding with tough routes and summiting Ben Nevis and Cairgoms. Highly recommend!

    BorysD2013 31 Mar 2020

    5 star rating Quality Mountain Day with a Quality Company An outstanding quality mountain day (QMD) on 16 March PLD (pre-lockdown) with Dave and Ian from West Coast Mountain Guides. Ken runs a great company and is efficient, organised and responsive. First rate administration. Dave and Ian, our guides for the day, were both brilliant; knowledgable and highly professional, and also great company. And we would not have been able to do what we did (Schoolhouse Ridge, Ballachulish) without them,... read more

    79nicka 31 Mar 2020
  • 5 star rating Excellent mountain climb I found West Coast Mountain Guides to be extremely professional, great company and they had excellent local knowledge

    JamesdFawcett 31 Mar 2020

    5 star rating Grade 4/5 guided winter climbing. Climbing with Malcom guide for 4 days. Climbing higher grade routes....knowing that I was in very safe hands. Not made to feel that my amateur skills next to the professional..were embarrassing. Knowing Malcom went out of his way to find the best route for the conditions..

    AndyMc43 28 Mar 2020

    5 star rating Quality Mountain Day with a quality outfit. West Coast Mountain Guides are simple a very professional and friendly outfit.
    Our guides Ian and Dave filled us with confidence, in difficult weather conditions. They quickly identified the strengths and weakness of the group immediately set a pace and level of instruction to suit.
    Our trip was cut short due to the Corona Virus but we will return to the Hills hopefully with Dave and Ian.
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    NickG268 26 Mar 2020
  • 5 star rating Great Guide. Great Communication before and during the course. Great Course. Booked a private, 2 day, winter mountaineering skills course with these guys.
    Our team of 2 really liked Dave Barker’s approach. He gave good advice, showed very good judgement and was a safe pair of hands in somewhat challenging conditions.
    He was clearly very experienced and his depth of knowledge, from research and experience was evident.
    Our team had very different levels of experience and Dave was great with both...
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    JT_NS 15 Mar 2020

    5 star rating North Face CIC Hut week This is the 3rd time I have climbed with West Coast and had an amzimg experience on all occasions but this final trip where we stayed at the CIC hut on Ben Nevis for a week was fantastic, conditions were perfect and the guides really helped get the most out of our time with such an extensive knowledge of the routes. Cheers guys looking forward to next year!!

    davidaH6898RO 12 Mar 2020

    5 star rating Winter /ice climbing guide Brilliant, stayed for 5 days in the C I C hut with the guides and other climbers, conditions were amazing, Ken and the team great. 2nd time using west coast, and booking on for next year

    Jgibo80 10 Mar 2020
  • 5 star rating Always great guides and super helpful Used Ken and West Coast Mountain Guides a few times now and can't praise them highly enough. Whatever your experience level, they'll work with you to find the right option

    MickyRamoney 09 Mar 2020

    5 star rating Winter mountaineering course Had a brilliant week with West Coast. Did some amazing routes including schoolhouse ridge, ring of steall and dinnertime buttress. Andy was a great teacher and we learnt so much with regards to reading snow conditions, potential hazards on the hill, movement on steep terrain and becoming inpendent in the mountains in winter. To really get the most out of the course I would recommend having good hill fitness, It... read more

    A5719PSaliceb 07 Mar 2020

    5 star rating winter climbing intro I did the 5 day intro to winter climbing course with Rich. Really great week, he was very safe and aware of how to avoid areas with an avalanche risk whilst still ensuring we got the best possible experience from the week.
    He was happy to tailor the time to our abilities and what we wanted to achieve.
    Would highly recommend booking with them if you want to push your...
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    Alec139s 07 Mar 2020